Teaching Methods

Why Are We Flipping Out over the “Flipped Classroom”?

In the past year or two, the Flipped Classroom model teaching has become the flavor of the month in most educational circles. Principals are pushing teachers to “Flip” their classrooms, districts are piloting “Flipped” schools, all in an effort to differentiate instruction and change the role of the teacher from instructor to facilitator. While this method has shown a lot of promise in many different classroom and school settings, it has only done so when it is fully implemented. However, many classrooms are implementing it half-heartedly and not giving students time to adjust to this radical change in methodology. This half-hearted approach to such a radical change does only one thing, it setup up both the teacher and student for failure.

Doing It Right

In order to be properly “flip” a classroom you will need to have at least one semester as your “proving” period; this is the time when you are building your videos and supplemental materials for a given class. There will be bugs in the videos you create, whether they are interruptions or background noise it does not matter; it does take more than five minutes to create these videos. If you are having students look at a video a couple of times a week, there will be a significant amount of work that you will need to put into creating the videos. Now many teachers will be turned off by the amount of work put into suitably setup a Flipped classroom a major paradigm shift, the students are being given access to the majority of material to be looked up, as they need it a process they are not accustomed to using. The semester must be started off as Flipping, next the students will have to go through a period in which they are trained to access information, as they need and to hunt it down. Many high school students will find this difficult since it is such a twist from the normal power-dynamic in the classroom of the teacher telling students to do everything and then students doing it. This brings together the two major components of the “Flipped Classroom” model that often don’t get connected: the philosophy and the practice.

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